The group U2 doesn’t seem to be able to catch a break with the release of their new album, Songs of Innocence. On October 13, the album will be released in CD and vinyl formats. It will contain bonus tracks, demos and artwork for the cover, as usual.
Artwork is normal for an album, although this artwork is being slammed and the group is in the news once again. A black and white photo of drummer Larry Mullen Jr. hugging his 18-year-old son seems to be the cause of the commotion. This only follows the badgering the band took after releasing free copies of their new album on any product that used iTunes whether people wanted it or not. This brought on a huge anger fest with people claiming it was a massive assault on their freedoms and was an insult to their taste in music.
U2’s connection with iTunes brought in a $100 million paycheck from Apple and sent their older albums back into the ranks. While Apple offered a tool to remove the album, there seemed to be some issues with the tool as well, sending people over the top in fits of rage.
The band’s website released a message to fans, stating the artwork was inspired by 1979’s Boy album and the 1983 War album, both featuring a face of a young child.
Lead singer, Bono, states:
We’ve always been about community in U2. About family and friends. Songs of Innocence is the most intimate album we’ve ever made. With this record, we were looking for the naked and personal to strip everything back. Holding on to your own innocence is a lot harder than holding on to someone else’s.
While I’m a U2 fan, I don’t understand what all the hoopla is about. Remove the album from your iTunes directory and call it a day. I’ve never seen such rage over free music before. The purchase of an Apple product containing rap music would be a sure-fire way to get me to remove it, however, I wouldn’t throw a tantrum over the thought of being offered free music. Don’t play what you don’t like or remove it.
In a society where we sit behind a computer screen and scream out offensive remarks, a band can’t even offer up their music free of charge without hearing a cry of the loss of freedoms. When you go to a concert in the park and have free entertainment, are there people who yell out how bad the music is? Not in my corner of the world. We either sit and listen or walk away. It’s our choice. That’s our freedom.
I feel U2 has created a venue where artists can actually get paid for their work. Whether it’s through the companies of the products the songs are offered or whether it’s by fans at a concert, at least they are making their money. There are so many tunes that are downloaded free of charge on the Internet, stealing the money artists should be paid. This may have opened the path to artists actually getting paid the money they deserve by being “pre-paid” for their work instead of having people steal it.
Freedoms have not been taken away by anyone. You were offered free music. I don’t find that too offensive. In fact, if that’s the worst that happens to us in our lives, we’re doing pretty well.